Today I went to the mall now known as Wonderland of the Americas, formerly Crossroads mall, originally the Malls of Wonderland Shopping City to see a movie. At one time the Wonder Theatre was above ground.
We saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang here in 1968. The theater was razed in the mid to late 70s and a new underground sixplex was built.
Currently dubbed Bijou Cinema or simply the Bijou (not be confused with other famous venues of the same name), this theater is finally getting a much needed renovation.
While wallpaper is peeling, baseboards are missing, and it still has a musty smell vaguely masked by the smells from the snackbar, there are brand new seats. And I’m talking nice seats. Nicer seats than Alamo Draft House or Casa Blanca IMO.
Three Identical Strangers was playing in theater six which happened to be the last one at the very end of a long dark hallway. As I made my way to my seat, I passed a set of stairs on the left going up to doors that were locked. I believe those doors lead to the outside street. But I cannot be sure.
I also had an immediate sense of déjà vu. For you see in 1980 something, I saw the movie Ghost Story starring Fred Astaire here with my friends TC now TD and CS. I’m not sure but VS may have been with us too. It was a rainy cold night and these stairs man, they look exactly the same. All I know for sure is that movie gave me nightmares.
And my feelings of déjà vu created a sense of nostalgia. Ah the good ole days.
As always, more to come.